Remember the early days of AOL, when random people would IM you and ask a/s/l? And you would go, eww, what a creepo. Or maybe you would respond, but with a fake age, location, and description. As in, “I’m blonde from California, I have 34D breasts and weigh 110 lbs, and I’m 18 years old,” Of course, you were actually breast-less with braces, had crazy brownish-blond curls (not the good kind of curls), and weighed 120 lbs. Oh, and you were 11 years old. Ok, well maybe that was just me.
But regardless, the reason that I never provided any inquirers will real information about myself (aside from the fact that no one would have wanted to talk to me had I given them my actual description), was in respect to my safety.
I am from one of those little small suburbian towns where nothing ever happens. That is, until the birth of online. A girl from a neighboring town who went to Catholic school (go figure), met an older man at the mall who she had met online. Two days later, her body was found in a dumpster.
And the stories persist….Look at the link below to see more instances of when people aren’t who they say they are…
Yet somehow with the splurge of online dating, and with the seemingly increasing need for many people to find that special someone, the things our mothers told us never to do, we do, and do without thinking.
Yet now murder isn’t the only thing that can happen from meeting someone online. Welcome to the era of easy money transfers and scam artists.
This article, http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2009/12/06/news/6503547.txt, from Sunday’s paper, details how a Nigerian man exploited a woman “just looking for love” on match.com, for almost 50,000 dollars.
And apparently, she isn’t the only one. And the scam artists aren’t only men.
So this article is a plea to women, to men, to children, to whoever, to stay safe. Even though the internet may just seem like the best way to communicate today, don’t give out too much information, if you meet someone you met online, meet them at a public place, and for the love of g-d, even if they are as cute as their picture, do not go home with them!! Remember, you know nothing about this person other than what they have told you.
One of the most important features of Meezoog, and why I like it so much, is because no person appears without a context. Every potential mate is connected to you through one of your friends, which gives you the ability to check up on that potential mate through someone you know and trust. And accepting a “friend request” isn’t as easy as that- you must indicate how well you know the person, the last time you talked to them, and where you know them from.
On top of all this, people join Meezoog with their real names, not with silly usernames that allow people to get away with scams like the guy from Nigeria did on match, or to get away with literally, murder.
So if you are going to online date, do it safely. Do it on Meezoog.
Also, not knowing someone doesn’t only apply to online- even if you go on a date with someone you met at a bar, say- remember that that the only things you know about him are what he decides to tell you. Yes, even if you are facebook friends- if you have no friends in common, or the friends you have in common you don’t even really know, then you are still s.o.l., and could be on your way to disaster.
(Oh, and don’t trust the people around you in a public place to intervene should your date do something strange. I saw a social psychology video where the couple at the bar saw a girl’s date put some kind of drug into her drink when she went to the bathroom, and only one out of four couples intervened to the extent that they wouldn’t let the girl leave the bar with her date (the people on the date were actors of course). Remember, the bystander effect is a b****)